Tourism Australia Where the bloody hell are you?

Tourism Australia has worked with M&C Saatchi to create an ‘in-your-face’ challenge to come and experience the unique environment only available down under. The campaign focuses on the question, “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?”, using an Australian phrase in the hope that the laid back cheeky approach will attract foreigners.

Tourism Australia pub drinker

A punter in a remote outback pub stands at the bar and says, “We’ve bought you a beer” and turns to face the smiling female bartender. A camel train is silhouetted by the Australian sunset. A woman says, “And we’ve had the camels shampooed”. We’re listening to distinctly Australian sounds – traditional Aboriginal percussion and didgeridoo. The camels walk down the beach, sun setting over the sea in the background. Must be Western Australia. Bare legs swish through the surf at Fingal Spit. A woman in bikini top tells us, “We’ve saved you a spot on the beach”.

Tourism Australia pub drinker
Tourism Australia surf swimming boys

A boy with white zinc sunscreen on his face dives into the pool and emerges to say, “And we’ve got the sharks out of the pool”. Surf surges up the edges of the sea-side pool, saturating the swimmers.

Kangaroos watch as sand flares up from the golf course bunker. A golfer says, “We’ve got the roos off the green”. The kangaroos hop off. The camera zooms up to the front steps of a homestead. A jackaroo tells us, “And Bill’s on his way down to open the front gate”. Bill of course is driving a ute down a long red dust road. A yellow sea plane lands in the Great Barrier Reef. A snorkeller swims towards the plane as the pilot sits on the float to tell us, “Your taxi’s waiting”. It’s now night time in front of Uluru (Ayers Rock). A waiter, dressed in black and white formal gear, tells us, “And dinner’s about to be served”.

Tourism Australia Aborigne Dance Troupe Member

In Sydney Harbour a woman stands with her friends in front of dazzling fireworks display. “We turned on the lights”, she says.

Inland an Aboriginal dance troupe goes through its moves. A young woman, who doesn’t look particularly Aboriginal, says, “And we’ve been rehearsing for over 40,000 years”.

It’s back to the Lara Bingle, the beach babe. “So where the bloody hell are you?”, she wants to know.

Tourism Australia Beer Drinker

We’re referred to, the web portal of Tourism Australia, which can be opened in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Korean.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The ad can be viewed online at The image on the site features Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and fireworks. “We’ve switched on the lights, turned up the Verdi, and the champagne’s on board… so where the bloody hell are you?”

Tourism Australia provides their thinking behind the campaign on their marketing page. They say that the actors featured in the ads are all amateurs. The campaign attempts to harness the value of Australian environmental icons by displaying them as compelling experiences.

So why the irreverent language? The phrase “Where the bloody hell are you?” is a classic piece of Strine (Australian) slang. It communicates something of the larrikin nature of Australian culture and cheekily challenges viewers to do something about their attraction to the down under destination. The only problem is that the phrase is said so quickly that many overseas viewers won’t even realise that they’ve been sworn at.


The campaign was developed at M&C Saatchi by creative director and copywriter Tom McFarlane, art director Michael Andrews and agency producer Rod James.

Filming was shot by Filmsmiths director Wayne Maule with director of photography Danny Ruhlmann. Maule also directed one of the Qantas “Still Call Australia Home” spots.

Editing was done at Post Box. Post production was done by Frame Set & Match. Music was composed at Song Zu.

Tourism Australia Camels
Tourism Australia Rainforest
Tourism Australia Whale Shark
Tourism Australia Sydney Fireworks

Update on March 9

The news has come through that Britain’s advertising watchdog, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, has banned the Tourism Australia ad in its present form. It’s likely that an amended version will be provided for British televisions, with the word “bloody” replaced by “@%#!”. The ad will still be seen in British cinemas in its present format. Britain’s not the only country to complain. Japan, Korea, Thailand and Singapore are to get expletive-deleted versions of the campaign.

See the spoofs here.

48 Replies to “Tourism Australia Where the bloody hell are you?”

  1. I’m so glad the brits have ban the ad from TV. That’s huge publicity.
    I proudly sang ‘Where The Bloody Hell Are You?’ for the American Launch of the Campaign in Union Square, San Francisco. Rock on! You have to get people’s attention! It’s advertising, not a polite conversation with tea and scones!

  2. The people in the ad are not all amateurs- Ashlea Talbot was Miss Australia about 3 years ago, and has successfully been modelling for years. Lara Bingle is also, while not an actress, been working the scene for years. Why make out that they just picked people off the street when thats clearly not the case?
    The accents are sooo terrible too.

  3. It’s like “Where the heck are you?”. “bloody” used to be a bad swear word but it’s relatively tame these days.

  4. I’m in Ireland and think the ad is great!!! The girl in the bikini makes me want to get straight on a plane and go to Australia… so it obviously works too!!

  5. I love this ad. I did a review of it when it was first made public and surprisingly, a few Aussies had a problem with it. Not the ‘bloody’… but everything else.

    I think it was a pretty spot on advert, myself. I’ve travelled the eastern side and south-central parts of Australia, so I can relate to a fair amount of it.

    As for the Aboriginal woman, she is more likely half-cast or some such. 🙂

  6. I don’t get it. I thought the phrase “where the bloddy hell are you” was a negative not a positive. It implies nobody thinks the place is good enough to visit, not the other way around. If I had a party and my mates didn’t show up I’d be calling the next day rather unhappy and saying ‘Where the bloody hell were you”.

  7. just ask yourself….

    “Where the bloody hell am I ?”

    This “bad word” has, and always will be a part of the Australian English, you don’t see us getting stuck into the british for their accents or screwy words.

    Get a grip.

    ‘The Land Down Under’

  8. I’m from Australia and although we don’t usually swim with sharks and my driveway is only a couple of metres long the ad presents the best parts of our Aussie culture and is true to our identity.
    The word bloody is colloquial, the only thing the ad is missing is ‘a shrimp on the barbie’.
    So what the bloody hell is wrong with it?

  9. Im from england but i love the advert! and im moving to australia in july and i can’t wait! And whats the big deal with saying bloody? I think the advert is really good and its made me want to move now!!

  10. First to Al: “The girl in the bikini makes me want to get straight on a plane and go to Australia… so it obviously works too!!”

    Al, the only proof that the ad works is if you actually got on a plane and went to Australia!

    To Jethr06969: Yeah, dude, I’m with ya. Sign the girl up in Hollywood.

    To JK: I’m guessing you can help us out with the girl in the bikini. Probly Ashlea or Lara, right?

  11. Hey. BLOODY pom’s!!! THEY JUST CANT EVER STOP THEIR BLOODY WHINGING AND WHINING!! i dunno about you lot but makes me bloody blood boil!! lmao!
    sorry couldnt help meself.oups

  12. GEZZ, bloody hell mate! Now those drongo do gooders are complain’ about a couple of fair dinkum words in an ad campaign! Crickey whats next mate? All i can say is onya, johnny mate. You tell those yobbos that is is’nt all Tea and Scones in vans land, and stop your bloody complaining!!

  13. “where the bloody hell are you?” in other words.why the hell are you in your countries full of crime,ignorant ppl n horrible weather when you could be in the most beautiful,relaxed friendly country in the world?
    the advert is spot on.ive lived in england and the U.S and now livin in australia.i will never go back to live in any other country.

  14. who are the black people? are there truly natives living like that in Oz? how extraordinary, can you get your picture taken with them? how long did it take to teach that native woman to speak english? are there many black people in OZ, that such primitive people still exist in there traditonal clothing with their war paint is simply amazing. do they not like being civilised like they way ALL THE WHITE PEOPLE ARE REPRESENTED IN THE COMMERCIAL – AUSTRALIA WHAT A BLOODY RACIST COMMERCIAL !!!

  15. I am an aussie and I don’t think there is anything wrong with the phrase “where the bloody hell are you” its not like lara bingle is screaming it, it’s not like were going to turn our tv’s on and see a model scream at us telling us to get our butts to australia.
    good on the campaign just goes to show some english are just whingers.

  16. This video is awesome. It makes me feel great. Great job. And the best part is … I’M GOING TO AUSTRALIA IN 2 MONTHS !!!! YEAAAAAAA

  17. i’m from ireland and going to oz in june and if the first thing i see isn’t the girl in the bikni i’m goin stright home

  18. well ozzy chicks i’m a big irish lad and looking for some no strings fun in the sun but don’t let the wife konw so through another shrimp on the barbie

  19. Up here in Canada all the natives are cut out. Not a very good marketing campaign as we are pretty multicultural up here. I agree. The commercial paints a pretty unfavorable image of the country.


  21. To all the guys that were searching for that bikini woman, her name is Lara Bingle. You probably won’t ever meet her. Also, I agree with Damo about this ad being a racist piece of rubbish. “We’ve been rehearsing for over 40,000 years”?! Yes, that’s the only reason that Aboriginal people dance and sing – for tourists. It’s not like that kind of thing has any cultural significance or anything… Christ, what a bloody shameful ad

  22. i visted down under in 2005/6 i played that vid evey night when i came back it was the best add for that great country have tried to find the song that went with it any body help?where the bloody hell is it?

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